In a Tree Holding a Miniature Bow and Arrow, A Poem by Chris Russell

I’ve missed so much because

I’ve spent forty years of my life trying to be more caring

than you were.

This morning I pass a cable worker up on a telephone pole

on my walk into work

and imagine myself up in a tree holding a miniature bow and arrow

made out of an elastic and a stick

and trying to launch a toothpick that falls to the ground and gets lost

in a sea of orange pine needles.

I can see the worker looking at me and nodding his yellow hard hat

in my direction just to soften the moment,

the way I wish you had forty years ago, when you saw me

in that tree and thought you knew better than me.

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